RICHMOND, Va. — A political action committee led by technology company executives of major U.S. corporations that have marketed themselves as LGBT-inclusive — including Facebook, Microsoft, AOL, Comcast, Cox, Intuit, Monster and Oracle — have endorsed Republican candidate and Tea Party favorite Ken Cuccinelli to be Virginia’s next governor.
TechPAC, the political action committee of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, one of northern Virginia’s most influential business groups, endorsed Cuccinelli over Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
Cuccinelli is a longtime opponent of LGBT rights, telling an audience at a July campaign debate that he stands by previous statements in which he called LGBT people “soulless” and “self-destructive.”
Dendy Young, the chairman of TechPAC, cited what he said was Cuccinelli’s “experience in Virginia government, command of the issues, and knowledge of key technology priorities” in a release announcing the endorsement.
The endorsement came as a blow to McAuliffe, who’s running on a platform of “jobs, jobs, jobs.”
McAuliffe has argued that Cuccinelli’s opposition to reproductive rights and gay rights and stance on climate change would make Virginia less attractive to businesses looking to expand or new start-up ventures.
During seven years as a state senator and in the past four year as Virginia’s attorney general, Cuccinelli has opposed even the most basic legal protections for LGBT people.
He endorsed Virginia’s anti-gay marriage legislation and has advocated for a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
In a 2009 op-ed for the The Virginian Pilot, Cuccinelli wrote, “Homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong.”
In 2010, he proffered a legal opinion known as an “AG Advisory,” calling for Virginia’s public colleges and universities to rescind their nondiscrimination policies for same-sex partners. That maneuver nearly caused defense giant Northrop Grumman to reconsider relocating its corporate headquarters to the state.
The larger Northern Virginia Technology Council released its own statement Monday noting that as the TechPAC endorsement “may not in itself reflect the views of NVTC’s membership,” and in light of a deeply divided membership, said it would not make a separate endorsement in the gubernatorial race.